Expansive Telluride mountain retreat grew out of past

This 11,729-square-foot luxury home is in high-end Mountain Village just a few miles outside Telluride.

Steve Catsman's dream house in the wilderness started as a collection of pre-Civil War cabins and a barn. He disassembled them in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee and shipped them across the country to the mountains nine miles outside Telluride. There, he put them back together as pieces of an 11,729-square-foot luxury mountain home.

The home, completed in 2003, is now on the market for $10.25 million. The listing photos provide a tour of luxury with spectacular views, and of Catsman's life of travel. He's selling the home to spend more time exploring abroad.

The home's design includes brick fireplaces, beamed ceilings and log-cabin walls.

The neighborhood, Mountain Village, is a high-end town near the ski resort that is home to retired CEOs and Oprah Winfrey, to whom Catsman sold 60 acres in March. Catsman, an agent with Telluride Real Estate, developed 12 homes in the area, along with 16 miles of trail.

"I threw what I thought was going to be a small home up, and it kept growing," he said.

Much of the home's design is in the vein of other Colorado mansions — brick fireplaces, beamed ceilings, log-cabin walls. But Catsman calls the patio "the palapa," a reference to tropical outdoor entertaining areas. The triangular bridge that connects the house to the home's patio was inspired by a trip Catsman and his wife took to the Himalayas, particularly Bhutan. The front door came from an ancient Indian palace.

This dream house in the wilderness started as a collection of pre-Civil War cabins and a barn.

The home has two master suites, a game room, a private gym, an in-ground hot tub and an observatory for stargazing. The decks offer 360-degree views of the mountains, town and ski resort. Catsman said it's not unusual to run into elk or a mountain lion during his commute to and from work.

"It's usually just me, and the elk or the deer," he said.

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Emily Heffter, a reporter and writer for Zillow Blog, covers celebrity real estate, unusual properties, and other real estate topics. Read more of her work here.